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Re: Qumran question (fwd)

This message has been crossposted from Ioudaios because it contains a 
substantive summary of David Suter's work on 1 Enoch and angels.

Avital Kobayashi Pinnick
list moderator

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sun, 3 Mar 1996 02:50:34 EST
From: David W. Suter <dsuter@catadon.stmartin.edu>
To: Multiple recipients of list <ioudaios-l@lehigh.edu>
Subject: Re: Qumran question

On Sat, 2 Mar 1996, Ian Hutchesson wrote:

> To David Suter,
> I get the idea you are hiding your work on 1Enoch!

Ian, the substance of the position is in "Fallen Angel, Fallen Priest" 
article in the 1979 _Hebrew Union College Annual_, which I think I have 
mentioned to you on at least one occasion.  Maxwell Davidson had a 
critique of it in his recent book, _Angels at Qumran_, to which I replied 
in a review on IOUDAIOS REVIEW, available through the archives.  I am of 
the opinion that there is a continuing critique of priestly marriages 
extending from the Ezra literature down at least into the second century 
BCE, and that there are correspondences between the accusations directed 
against the Watchers in the Book of the Watchers and the material in CD, 
which also mentions the Watchers in the context of a list of great 
sinners.  The Book of the Watchers I understand to be 3rd century BCE and 
CD 2nd century.  Davidson points out that it seems that the Book of the 
Watchers is not produced by the people who produced the sectarian 
literature distinctive to the Dead Sea Scrolls and must have been brought 
into the group from somewhere else (a position that I think is 
essentially correct).  He tries to distance 1 Enoch from the sectarian 
literature as far as possible by contrasting their "theologies" (Enoch 
speaks of good angels going astray, while the two spirit theology is 
characteristic of the sectarian literature); however, he makes the mistake 
of ignoring things like Jubilees in which the fallen angel material and 
the rudiments of the two spirit theology (note the role of Mastema) stand 
side by side. 

> Since fragments of most sections of 1Enoch were found among the dss, we get
> the idea these books were significant there, so how about dropping a bit
> more of your research on us?

1 Enoch may have been pushed to the sidelines fairly early on at Qumran 
(there have been some suggestions to this effect in the literature over 
the last thirty or forty years).  Jubilees may have functioned as the 
conduit of these traditions.  In _The Dead Sea Scrolls Today_, Jim 
VanderKam argues that given the criteria he used for determining what 
served as scripture at Qumran, Jubilees passes a number of tests, 
including number of copies and citation in other works.

> Your post hints that the book of the Watchers is after the time of Judas
> Maccabaeus, if you are following the conventional position regarding the
> scrolls. Yet Milik thinks it is older than Genesis 6:1-4. How does this fit
> your analysis?

Milik is not the first to think that; however, 1 Enoch 6 strikes me as an 
exegetical expansion of Genesis 6.  One might argue that in expanding 
upon scripture it draws upon some of the same traditions that underlie 
Genesis; however, Genesis speaks of the "sons of the gods" while 1 Enoch 
makes them angels.  If you are interested in discussions of the 
traditions and the way they come together in 1 Enoch, I suggest searching 
out articles by Deborah Dimant and George Nickelsburg in JBL from around 

> Come on David, spill the beans!

Ian, I think I have "spilled the beans" on various occasions and in 
various ways, but I respond to your question about what various ones of 
us think about the DSS and the site at Qumran only to be upbraided for 
not giving you a dissertation on 1 Enoch in the process.  If you want 
people to be more forthcoming with information, you might adopt a 
different strategy.

> Ian Hutchesson
> By the way, are you still aiming for an Enochian Web-site? If so, will you
> have it up before the turn of the century (guffaw, guffaw)? (Shoot him, will
> somebody?)

Ian, I think I offered to get a student assistant to scan in an English 
text of 1 Enoch before we discovered that it was already available on one 
web site or another, but I'm somewhat at a loss as to a promise to 
produce a web site, certainly by this time. I wouldn't mind having a web 
page which would undoubtedly have Enoch material on it, but that is hardly 
possible when one's office computer is a 286.  That does get upgraded in the 
next week or two, but it still takes time to figure out how to make a web 
page work.  Now, if you want other scholars to tell you what they're 
doing, you might at least try to treat them with a little more civility 
than I read in your post.

David Suter
Saint Martin's College

> >